Importance of Prayer | Deep Calls to Deep

Deep Calls to Deep – Going further in Prayer

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Ever since I was a little boy, prayer for me was always a personal affair. I use to get bored ‘reciting’ formal prayers during mass. I just could never seem to connect with God. I felt the only way I could get connected to God is by naturally talking to him, in the same way, you talk to a friend.

And this might be true for many of us, it is a way of praying and it is an effective way, but what I want to share is one moment of my life which really helped me realize the power of formal prayers. One day during my 15th Std Exams, I was really stressed out and there were just a few hours left for my paper to start.

I had this routine of studying in a small garden at around 7 am in the morning. Our papers were usually at 12 pm in the afternoon, so I had plenty of time to revise. Now this garden was about 5 mins away from my house so I usually use to talk to God in my head whilst walking towards the Garden. This was the daily norm for me

And I remember this so vividly because that day, I just asked God that please give me a formal prayer for this paper because I felt like I needed to say the right words rather than just have a conversation.

The very moment this thought struck me, something in my mind urged me immediately to freeze my leg, so I did and when I looked down on the road, I was about to step on something.

When I looked down, I saw a small picture of Baby Jesus on the road which I was about to stamp if I wouldn’t have stopped my leg midway. I lifted the picture up and flipped it to see what it was and what I found really CHANGED MY LIFE

I saw a prayer titled – “Prayer before studies” on the back and that just blew my mind! You won’t believe how excited I was to say the prayer and I was so happy to have found it. I think I was so excited to see God reach out to me that my paper went well too!

So I know for a fact that formal prayers are important too and what I learned from the book deep calls to deep helped me in my daily prayers as well.

I am going to share the 5 finger technique with you so that it helps you too, This is one of the methods straight out of the book. The author, however, explains numerous ways of praying and you can decide what works best for you.

So here is the technique and we will begin from the back. For starters, the weakest fingers are for praying for people or things, what that means is, myself being on the last finger and my neighbor or friend being on the fourth finger.

The middle finger, which is the longest stands for Thanksgiving, which I should do more often. The index finger being next is for pointing at my own faults and not for blaming others. It represents the prayer of confession and contrition.

And the last is the thumb, which is actually the first finger and the most significant one, as it is for God himself. The Prayer for adoration and praise.

So you always start praying from the thumb towards the last finger, in that order.

This method really got me excited about prayers and I just couldn’t wait to try it practically in my life.

Like this, there may be a prayer cycle that you follow which is completely alright in its own way.

But today, what we really need, is to focus at a deeper dimension of prayer.

By that, I mean not getting your prayer mixed with any kind of disturbances and daydreams.

We are defined by the relationship we share with our Father and that can be achieved only through Prayers.

So if you are seeking to do the same, this book will help you move from Prayers to Prayer by exposing you to a renewed path of praying.

You can buy the Book, “Deep Calls to Deep” for just Rs.90 at http://www.stpaulsbyb.com
For a Video on Deep Calls to Deep, you can visit our Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvdAAzANWww

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Why do we Observe Lent?

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Lent might seem pretty confusing to most Non-Catholics, hey it’s a confusing time for a lot of Catholics too.

For some it might be an opportunity to go on a diet, for others, it might be a chance to grow that beard without escaping the wrath of their parents. But let me tell you, the season of Lent is so much more than this.

Lent is a time of prayer, repentance, and recommitment leading up to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter. It spans for a period of 40 days not counting sundays, beginning on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, that is one day before Easter

Although it began as a Roman Catholic tradition, Christians of various denominations participate in Lent.

Why Do We Fast on Lent

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Lent begins with humility on Ash Wednesday. It is a day when people are imprinted with ash on their forehead in the form of a cross, to remind them of their mortality and complete dependence on God.

It also is a constant reminder of the many sacrifices of Christ which purifies us and makes us worthy to go to God.

Why 40 Days?

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The 40 days is a symbolic representation of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, fighting and enduring the many temptations of Satan before he goes on to start his ministry.

Forty is a significant number in the Bible. For instance, Moses waited for 40 days to receive the Law on Mt. Sinai.

The people of Israel rambled in the wilderness for forty years before they could enter the promised land.

Similarly, Elijah journeyed for forty days to meet God at Mount Horeb and most importantly, Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness.

How to Prepare for Lent

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Let the season of Lent not be just about fulfilling your scheduled ‘sacrifices’. It is the intent behind it that is important.

When you sacrifice, let your heart be in the right place. The Bible, in fact, tells us indirectly not to frown, or put on a show when you are fasting, smile, make it seem like you have just had a feast, don’t let people know that you’re sacrificing, God already knows everything.

Let it not be about obligation, let it be about cleansing yourself for God. Trust me, when Easter comes, you will experience the joy of the Holy Spirit that will change your life.

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We must confess our sins!

Confession

Scripture makes a distinction between two types of sin: mortal sin and venial sin (see 1 Jn 5:16-17). Mortal sin is, as its name implies, the more deadly of the two, for it chokes off God’s life in the soul. Mortal sin kills us spiritually. Mortal sin always involves “grave matter” — the most important things in life. Even nonbelievers will often recognize the gravity of these offences. Thus, for example, murder is a mortal sin, and it is universally recognized as a crime; the same goes for grand theft, perjury, and adultery. Other grave matter, however, can be seen only with the eyes of faith. Thus, for example, it is a mortal sin to miss Mass on a Sunday.

Every time we go to the sacrament of penance, we must confess any and all mortal sins committed since our last confession. We must clearly state the types of mortal sin we’ve committed and the number of times we’ve committed them. If we hold back any mortal sins, then we have not made a valid confession. Indeed, to deliberately withhold confessing a mortal sin is itself a mortal sin. Since a sacrament is an oath before God, such nondisclosure represents a sort of perjury.

We are not strictly required to confess our venial sins — the catechism calls them “everyday faults” — but the Church, the saints, and the mystics have always recommended this (see CCC, 1458).

It’s important to remember, in our confession, that we’re not telling God anything he doesn’t already know. He knows our sins better than we do. He knew Adam’s sin when he invited Adam to confess. He knew Cain’s when he invited Cain to confess. He wants us to confess not for his good, but for ours, because he knows that confession is a necessary step in our process of healing toward holiness.

Confession is necessary, but there are some very limited circumstances in which a priest may dispense with confession and grant absolution anyway. In times of dire emergency, when a number of people are in immediate danger of death — in the heat of battle, or if a plane is about to crash — a priest may pronounce a “general absolution”. Even this requires that penitents must be sorry for their sins, though it dispenses with their need to confess their sins. Even then, the penitent, if he should survive, must go as soon as possible to make an ordinary sacramental confession.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession by Scott Hahn. For more information, click me 🙂

Saint of the Day: St. Berthold

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Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite Order. He was born in Limoges, France, and proved a brilliant student at the University of Paris. Ordained a priest, Berthold joined his brother, Aymeric, the Latin patriarch of Antioch, in Turkey, on the Crusades.

During this time he had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the soldiers. At the time, there were a number of hermits from the West scattered throughout Palestine.

Some accounts hold that in 1185 he came to Mount Carmel, built a small chapel there, and gathered a community of hermits who would live at his side in imitation of the prophet Elijah.

This community has been thought to have given rise to the Order of Carmelites, but this is not supported by evidence and is discounted by historians of the Order. Berthold lived out his days on Mount Carmel, ruling the community he had founded for forty-five years until his death in 1195
Source: Catholic.org, Wikipedia

The Bible for Children

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The bible is the most important source of knowledge that helps us follow the will of God. While it is very easy for us adults to read the text and scriptures, children need something more visually exciting that will engage them in an interactive manner.

Keeping this in mind, the bible for children is prepared come with over 200 action packed illustrations that make all your favorite Bible characters spring to life. This simplified and condensed version of the Bible enables children to read and grasp the biblical message better.

Even as an adult, I was immediately drawn to the vibrant images and simple words used, which took me on a nostalgic trip to my childhood days. Do you get the same feeling when you come across a children’s Bible ? Do share your experiences in the comments below

Saint of the Day : Saint Abban

Known for his miraculous powers and devotion to God

 

Saint Abban was son of King Cormac of Leinster. There is very less information about Abban’s early life however sources state that he was supposed to succeed his father in Leinster. His devotion to God and miracles that he performed was testimony that he was destined for a career in the church.

Keeping in mind his dedication to God, he was sent to stay with his uncle, Bishop Ibar, who took him on his travels across Rome. While in Italy, Abban perfomed numerous miracles and protected himself and his uncle from men, monsters and supernatural forces. It is also said that he exercised authority over rivers and seas.

Saint Abban founded string of churches after returning from a second visit to Rome. A few notable names include Cel Aibe and Camross, as well as monasteries at Nurney, County Carlow of which an early high cross survives.